Back in the 80’s, the current expert doctors in mesothelioma were just starting off their careers. The cancer was barely known. Mesothelioma treatment options were limited to the chemotherapy drug only and surgery. There was no government recorded to support the cancer research through funding those days.
Times are changing and cancer patients are now flocking the U.S. to access the world-class cancer centers. There are many cancer centers which have been established and dedicated to treating and studying the disease. Clinical trials are part of the structure used by medical studies to create treatment plans in the research programs. It has therefore seen new therapies emerging at a steady pace.
Is mesothelioma curable?
As at this moment, there is no existing cure for mesothelioma but for the purpose of improving mesothelioma prognosis, there are several treatment options. Many mesothelioma patients have benefited from reduced pains and suffering from the systems through therapies like palliative care among others. Even though the curative treatment outcome is quite rare, the treatment has enabled the patients with malignant mesothelioma to live longer.
If diagnosed at an early stage, the patients can get treatment through surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The late-stage patient’s treatments will involve immunotherapy and chemotherapy. The multi-modal therapy basically combines various treatments so as to kill the cancer cells in different ways.
What treatment options can I get?
Although there are many treatment options, they are not considered are cure. There are several instances however where the patients have reached remission. At this point, it means there are no visible signs of mesothelioma in a patient. This happens where the disease was diagnosed and treated aggressively in the earliest stage by a specialist. All mesothelioma survivors are therefore said to be in remission.
- Surgery. Surgery is the commonly used options when the disease is diagnosed in the early stages of mesothelioma. Surgery is used to get rid of all the tumors. When surgery is used, the mesothelioma lining may get removed at the end or you can even remove one or more of the lymph nodes. This will, however, depend on the location of the tumor.
- Chemotherapy. It is a viable option to treat patients with all the stages of malignant mesothelioma. In most cases, it is used in conjunction with surgery. The chemotherapy drugs perform by aggressively confronting cells which grow fast, like the cancer cells. After the surgery, there are normally some cells that the surgeon could kill physically and thus the patient goes through a chemotherapy session to get rid of such.
- Radiation. This can be used before and after the surgery. Radiation shrinks tumors. It is also another way of killing the remaining cancer cells, say after a surgery in a particular area of the body. When used before the surgery, it makes their removal easy. Application of radiation is done through internal or external sources depending on when the tumor is located.
- Multi-modal treatment. This treatment has been considered as one of the best. It combines other treatments with the aim of killing cancer cells. The treatment has increased the life expectancy of many patients.
- Clinical trials. These offer the patient’s treatment options which are not available to all the patients. The benefit is that you can be part of a trial which could lead to recovery. The clinical trial is very important in furthering the mesothelioma research.
What if the treatment doesn’t work for me?
Recovery from cancer is not possible all the time. If the disease cannot be cured or even controlled, at that point it can be called a terminal illness. We understand the diagnosis of mesothelioma cancer is very important but it indispensable that you have open and honest dialogues with your doctor. There are many healthcare counselors placed there to help. There have been equipped with special skills with experience and knowledge to help you and your family. Where the disease is in the advanced stage, consider taking the patient to a hospice. These are homes designed to provide the best possible quality of life for people near the end of life.